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Kamala Harris: The Right Choice for VP

*This piece is an opinion and does not reflect the entire ideals of Her Campus at VCU and Her Campus Media*

For his first big decision as the Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden definitely got it right! On August 11, 2020, Senator Kamala Harris was chosen as a running mate on Biden's ballot. Now this is good for a plethora of reasons, but we'll start with the most obvious one: if Biden wins the 2020 election, Harris will be the first half African American, half South Indian woman to be elected as Vice President. Harris is also relatively young and a good debater. This will help her during the campaign. 

Harris is a member of the Senate representing the state of California, and while she has only been in the Senate for a short while, she has definitely made her mark. Harris has been very vocal about her disapproval of the Trump administration's separation of immigrant families, her own mother being an immigrant. She has also been strong on support for labor unions and LGBTQIA+ rights. 

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Though Harris is a history-making choice, she is the right choice for VP for one main reason: she was the most obvious and expected choice. Biden is ahead in the polls, albeit not that much ahead, around eight points, and when you're ahead, you do the safe and expected thing. You do not feel the need to shake things up. Before choosing Harris as his running mate, Biden told several sources that he would be choosing a woman of color as the VP candidate. Excitement built towards her DNC speech and then Biden's, but now the narrative has gone back to Trump and the virus—basically a news narrative that has been bad for Trump's campaign for weeks now. 

During Harris's stint as San Francisco's District Attorney, she has been on the wrong side of history a couple of times. For example, in 2014, Harris declined to take a position on Proposition 47, a ballot initiative approved by voters that reduced certain low-level felonies to misdemeanors. She also laughed when a reporter asked if she would support the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. Harris reversed her opinion about it in 2018 when the public opinion had shifted. Harris has played it safe and hasn't tried to sway some of her conservative colleagues on issues that matter all too much nowadays. Harris will definitely have to answer questions about her record as a prosecutor, and she'll have to answer them very well. 

As far as the Black vote goes: whether Harris will attract large numbers is purely speculation, but I suspect that she will do well on that front. Given that Biden may only serve one term, I think Black voters will be enthusiastic about the idea that she could be the presidential nominee in 2024. For hundreds of Black activists around the country, Biden had to make the race a priority in deciding a running mate, and he had to be on par with what the country was expecting. Harris is not only is a candidate with all the necessary racial backgrounds, and she is also the first graduate of a historically Black college to land a VP nomination.  

Some younger Democratic voters have been hesitant to vote for Biden, and in my opinion, now that Senator Kamala Harris is on the ticket, the younger generation of voters will be more inclined to vote for Biden. 

 

Tara is a junior HPEX health science major at Virginia Commonwealth University. She likes hanging out with friends and family, trying out new places to eat and scrolling through dog videos in her free time.
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